President Joe Biden woke up to some bad news from AAA who broke the news that U.S. gas prices are rising at the fastest pace ever. The average price per gallon of unleaded gasoline jumped 9 cents at domestic service stations Friday to $3.84 according to AAA.
It jumped by 7 cents Thursday and a week ago drivers paid 26 cents less on average per gallon. This marks the largest short-term price spike AAA’s data have ever recorded spokesman Devin Gladden said. AAA’s price-tracking records date to 2000.
And it could get worse as many analysts predict oil could reach $130 per barrel. Crude oil was trading for more than $112 a barrel Friday, its highest mark since 2008. “I think people are going to have sticker shock,” Gladden said.
He added: “Even if they can purchase more because wages have increased, you also have to think about how the pandemic for a lot of families has made them more fragile than they ever have been. There’s a lot of social challenges at the moment that are compounded by higher prices.”
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at tracking service GasBuddy, said:
“The bulk of Russia’s exports are already severely impacted by Russia’s sanctions. Russia’s oil supply has already essentially been made very difficult to obtain.
“Americans still have pent-up demand for getting out. Things are wide open now. The economy is open. People feel safer flying.
“And with the reduction in mask mandates, that may embolden more people to travel and feel free. Until the national average for a gallon of gas reaches $4.50 or $5, I don’t know that people will really slow down consumption.”
“What we know is that, you know, from the U.S. economy, we don’t import a lot of Russian oil, but we are looking at options that we can take right now if we were to cut the U.S. consumption of Russian energy,” Jen Psaki said. “But what’s really most important is that we maintain a steady supply of global energy.”
She added, “certainly the rising price of oil and the impact on gas prices is one we are focused on.”
From The New York Post:
Prices are even higher on the West Coast. In California, the statewide average has eclipsed $5 per gallon — the most expensive on record since AAA has tracked data.
As The Post previously reported, some analysts warn it’s possible that the national average could eventually surpass $5 per gallon — especially if international sanctions lead Russia to curb oil exports.
The Biden administration already faces mounting pressure to take actions that would alleviate costs to American households.
“I will use every tool at our disposal to protect American businesses and consumers,” President Biden said during his State of the Union address.
Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that the fuel crisis would cause inflation — which already hit a four-decade high of 7.5% in January — to surge even higher in the days ahead.
PSAKI: “The reason why the price of gas is going up is not because of steps the president has taken, they are because Putin is invading Ukraine.”— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 4, 2022
Gas prices rose $1.14 from Biden’s inauguration to the day Putin invaded. pic.twitter.com/z02ZrUznAr